FORMER Coal Secretary HC Gupta (1971 IAS), KS Kropha (1982 IAS) and KC Samariya (1993 batch IAS) have been sentenced to jail in the coal scam that happened during the previous UPA regime at the Centre. The charges against all of them are the same; they did not follow the due process in the allotment of coal blocks. The IAS Association reacted in anger and, in an uncharacteristic response, placed a unique logo in its official Twitter handle. It reads: “I Stand By HC Gupta, KS Kropha, KC Samariya #IAS”. In a tweet, the IAS Association said: “Conviction of honest IAS officers in Coal Scam is most unfortunate. A black letter day for bureaucracy – Convicting officers for bona fide decisions in the interest of administration. We stand by the officers in this time of distress. #HCGupta.” Gupta’s IAS batchmate and former Chief Election Commissioner, SY Quraishi, then famously called Gupta a sadhu. “HC Gupta is one of the most honest officers who lived like a sadhu. Pained to see how he is being treated,” Quraishi had posted.